Monday, February 6, 2012

Book Review: A Sound Among the Trees

In my old age, I am coming to like historical fiction more and more.  I realize it's just that: fiction and not fact.  But I know there are elements of true history in each story and I find it fascinating.  However, A Sound Among the Trees deals with an aspect of history I have a hard time with, the Civil War.  Such an ugly time in American history. 

Marielle Bishop is a new bride in a very old house.  She's transplanted herself from the desert of Arizona to move into her new husband's home in Fredericksburg, Virginia and is soon led to believe that the house she's moved into brings misfortune to the women who live there.  It all traces back to Susannah Page, a young woman who is rumored to be a Civil War spy for the North, thus a traitor to her Virginia home.  Her great-granddaughter Adelaide, the current matriarch of Holly Oak, doesn't believe it's Susannah who haunts the house, but the very house itself that holds a grudge toward it's tragic past.  Marielle must sort through history, superstitions and folk tales to make peace with the sacrifices she's made for love.

There is something compelling about a family who has lived in one house for over a century, passing it down from generation to generation.  It's not surprising that ghost stories bloomed over all the years.  The characters in this book are real enough that it is imperative that you find out if the story has any reconciliation or not.  I commend Susan Meissener for not only drawing you into the modern lives of Marielle and Adelaide, but into the historical life of Susannah Page as well.  The heartache of Susannah as she witnesses the awful aspects of war are as real as the desire of Marielle to make her new life work.  The readers feel the need of Marielle to reconcile history to chart a good course for her future.

Historical fiction lovers will love this book, and so will the rest of us.

This book was sent to me by WaterBrook Press in exchange for an honest review, as a part of their Blogging for Books program.

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